The weather forecast said no rain for a couple of hours. But these clouds were telling us something else.
We enjoyed the sunshine all day long from Daytona Florida to St. Augustine, lolling along the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). The winds for the most part that day were nil to light, sometimes blowing gently against our bow.
No, I said, puzzled. Instead of reading a weather app, he studiously scanned the horizon. He noticed an inky bank of clouds advancing our way.
"Close the hatches," he said. Usually, I'm the one battening down the hatches after he suggested waiting, getting soaked as I flex my climbing skills to close hatches not designed to be closed by someone my height. I got right to it.
Wayne insisted I stay below while the rain pelted down on him through the open cockpit window.
We were 15 minutes from grabbing a mooring ball in St. Augustine. We were exiting an exceptionally narrowly navigable part of the ICW. A day off a new moon, the high and low tides were more extreme than usual. We were at dead low tide and there were mere inches between our keel and the muddy bottom.
No sooner did I close the hatches when suddenly, we got slammed by a 40-knot gust, the rain sluiced down, lightning lit up otherwise the now-dark sky and thunder rumbled.
Forget about grabbing a mooring ball, it was all Wayne could do to see where he was going.
Fortunately for us, we were in a wide-open section, Wayne stalled a bit since he couldn't see where he was going—the rain sheeted down that hard.
Suddenly as the squall started, it stopped. Wayne proceeded to our mooring ball, grabbed the ball's pennant with our boat hook, threaded it with our line, and tied it off. Just like that, we were set. Then the wind kicked back up and blew and blew and blew.
Sunset setting through the oaks in St. Augustine tonight.
A little earlier, and that squall would've caught us in that narrow, twisty, shallow section and we'd have run aground. A little later and we would've had a heckuva time grabbing our mooring ball in the high winds. We were snug in our anchorage. The boat was dry and steady. We felt grateful (though this time, Wayne was disappointed I didn't catch that squall on video).
St. Augustine is a fun place to hang out and watch the world go by.
|One of the amusing boats parading past in St. Augustine tonight.|
|Pirate tour boat in St. Augustine tonight.|
|They say walking on water is a miracle. But in St. Augustine, there's cycling on water.|
We're currently in St. Augustine Florida, 29 53.253N 81 18.289W. Monday we'll meander to Sisters' Creek, then cross the border the next day to Cumberland in Georgia.
These two were on the St. Augustine docks.
These armadillos were too busy chowing down to notice me. Sculpture Park, St. Augustine.
P.S. If you like armadillos and other weird Florida wildlife, check out this video; if nothing else, do it just for the song.